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Easy iPad Control Center

The iPad is a great tool to have in the kitchen for having recipes handy or just listening to music. We wanted it out out of the way but within reach so mounting it on the wall seemed like the most logical solution. Also, wall mounting it meant we could use it as a digital picture frame. Since we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a fancy device we decided to just make our own. We used a left over piece of 3/4″ X 3/4″ trim and another piece of moulding with a lip so the iPad wouldn’t slide off.

A few screws and wood glue were all that was needed. We finished it off with a coat of paint to match the wall. Easy.

Here’s the final product.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Coocoo for Coconuts

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks… things have been kinda coconutty. Here’s another idea for a hanging planter made out of a leftover coconut. This time, we’re mounting it directly to the wall. Start with your coconut. I imagine this could be pulled off in a variety of ways depending on how the coconut breaks. To get it open I usually put it inside of an old plastic grocery bag and then inside of a towel or cloth grocery bag. When you take the hammer to the coconut, this will help to prevent the shards from flying everywhere.  After you’ve got all the meat out of the nut, drill a hole in the back for hanging.

Now fill the coconut with a little potting soil. Be sure to leave a room before the edge to allow your water to soak into the soil. At this point, I think its a good idea to saturate the soil. This will prevent you from having to water for a few days, which is always a bonus and will help your cutting root faster.

Now choose your cuttings and insert them into the soil. To hang it I just used a small nail with a head to prevent the coconut from sliding off of it. That’s pretty much it! Check out the final product.

And from the side.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

This Little Light of Mine

I happened upon a set of three palettes that I thought had really cool feet. Each palette had 9 injection molded plastic donut shaped feet that screwed into the bottom of the palette with a threaded bolt. I tossed around a few ideas and settled on making them into a light that I could either set on a table or mount to the wall. This project used all recycled materials that I had lying around.

Once I had all the feet removed I took out the thread hardware and gave them a coat of flat black paint.

Concerned that they were starting to look too much like mini tires and that the black paint would absorb all the light from the light source I decided to spray the inside of each “donut” with gold paint. I thought it would pop it up a notch and help reflect some light.

To get the gold on just the inside of each donut I drilled a large hole in the bottom of a solo cup and used that to direct the gold paint into the center.

Turns out spray paint melts solo cups. I wonder what it does when you breath it? Another reason to wear a respirator.

With all the donuts painted I got started on the board I would mount them to. I started by mapping out the locations where I would push the lights through into the center of each donut and drilled holes.

With all the holes drilled I gave it a few coats of high gloss black paint for contrast with the flat black and applied a sheet of the same contact paper I used on the houndstooth wall.

I finished the whole thing up by pushing white christmas lights through each hole and stapling them to the back. This worked out well because it helps to give the whole fixture a halo or glow from the back. Here’s the finished piece in the daylight.

And here’s what it looks like all lit up.

I like it a lot sitting flat on a table because it looks like a long arrangement of candles. The fixture is 24″ X 60″ so I just need to get a giant dining room table… and a new apartment to hold it!

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Palm Frond Hanging Planter

In an earlier post, I turned a palm frond I found into a hanging light fixture. This project uses the other frond that I found at the same time. In the winter when storms roll into San Diego you can find palm tree debris all over the place and its free for the taking. I wanted a way to hang some plants in the window in my shower since with all the moisture, it seemed like a place plants would thrive. Of course, I didn’t want to spend money when I thought I could make some cooler than I could buy at the store. This is how the frond looked before I started. It’s a little larger than the one I used for the light and had a nice curve that I thought would help to hold the soil in place.

I started by using some left over leather cord which you’ve seen me use in other projects. I tied a few pieces around the front to keep it place after I filled it with soil. If your frond is dry, try soaking it in water to soften it up so that it doesn’t crack when you bend it.

I filled it with soil next and wadded up a plastic grocery bag to keep the soil from falling out. To hang it I used more leather cord and made a sling for the planter to rest in. I tied it up to the old curtain rod first and then slid the planter in place. The way its hung on a slight angle makes watering it really easy. So that the dirt doesn’t run out I use a wash cloth and ring it out. I only have to water it on one end because the slope allows the water to run down through the roots of all three plants and drains out the lower end. These plants were freebies and are two different types of begonias and a fern. If I do it again I might line the inside of the frond with something to keep it from rotting over time.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

You put zee Plant in dee Coconut

This is one of the easiest projects ever. I started with a coconut that I got at the farmers market. The vendor was selling coconut water. Basically, it was just a coconut with a straw in it.  After it was finished I had intended to send the coconut shell straight to the compost. The coconut however, had a different idea and must have known it was destined for greatness. On the way to the compost I thought it seemed too good to waste and left it out. The shell sat around for a few weeks until inspiration hit me. I planted a few succulents that I had laying around, straight into the coconut shell and used some left over leather cord given to me by a friend. I tied three pieces of cord together to make a sling for the coconut and placed it inside.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler!

Thanks for reading and remember, today’s dreams become tomorrow realities.

FREEcycled Outdoor Wall Art

Its true what they say. Sometimes, the best things in life ARE free. When I’m doing projects the only thing better than free, is free + recycled = FREEcycled. It feels good to take something that was about to be thrown away and turn it into something fit to gawk at. For this idea I started with a stack of FREE packing materials that I scavanged salvaged from the garbage. I used about $2 worth of purchased materials to get the final product. There’s a pretty good chance I could have done this completely free but I was pretty set on a particular final look. Use your imagination! Like I’ve mentioned before. You don’t have to spend much to create something that looks really fantastic.

Packing Materials

If you look at the top part of each tray it has “feet” which help it to hold the product upright in the box. Those were not part of this project. So, I cut them off using a straight edge and knife. I want to note that I did not throw them away. I will most likely use them in a future application.

Packing Materials Edit

After I had all the “feet” trimmed off of the trays I layed them out to get an idea of the pattern I ultimately wanted. The cool thing about this material is you can rotate it any which way and it will give you a different pattern.

Once I had my pattern finalized I used hot glue to mount them to a piece of 24″ X 48″ melamine. The melamine costs under $2 and is very light weight. The perfect material for wall art. Its good to do a dry fit, to make sure the material fits on your board the way you want it. In my case it wasn’t exactly the same size so I ended up just letting the material hang over the edge a bit at the top and bottom. Because the melamine is so thin (about 1/8″) it won’t impact the final look.

We’re almost there. All the pieces have been attached to the board just using tiny dobs of hot glue. The final step is to finish it in any color you like. I chose a metallic silver for this since it will be hanging outside and I wanted to give it the illusion of tin. I thought the sun hitting it might have a nice effect.

Recyled Packing Material Wall Art

Here’s a close up of the final product. This is actually a different version than the one shown in the set up but you get the idea. I rotated each tray so that different sections catch the light and reflect it in a different way.

Recycled Packing Material Wall Art

I ended up hanging the piece outside in the garden. I like using unexpected elements outside to help the indoors flow out. I love the way  this super modern looking material looks with the more rustic siding and vegetation. I wrapped it all up with a vintage side chair that I painted neon yellow to help give it a fresh look. I’ll show you how I did that in a future post.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice creating your own, just ask!

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